Review by Shannon Shumaker
Jacob Hungsberg’s new EP, Trade Winds, couldn’t have come out at a better time of the year. The laid back, mellow tone of the EP coupled with the soft, acoustic guitar is perfect for relaxing in the heat of your home on cool fall or winter days.
While the overall sound (especially the vocals) on Trade Winds is very promising, though, the weakness is in the album’s production. Right off the bat, the soft quality of Hungsberg’s voice is warm and inviting, but it’s the hollow reverb effect on his vocals (and sometimes the guitar) that take away from the otherwise beautiful sound that has has managed to create with this EP. While the guitar work on the opening track “No Outlet” is great, especially the solo halfway through the song, at times there is so much going on that Hungsberg’s vocal’s are easily overpowered. I found myself straining to hear his voice throughout the track, which was unfortunate because his vocals were so strong in the beginning.
The second track, “Foolish Things” was thankfully much easier to listen to. “Foolish Things” is a little more laid back than “No Outlet” and when the string section comes in toward the end of the song, it all seems to tie in perfectly, easily making it my favorite track on the EP. While “Red Leaf” is also a strong track, the guitar strumming pattern is very similar to “Foolish Things,” making it a little repetitive. That’s not to say that “Red Leaf” isn’t a solid track, though; it would be perfect to listen to in the winter time when it’s snowing outside. The chorus on “Red Leaf” is also super catchy and easy to get lost in.
In a way, I almost wish that Trade Winds was longer. Just when the EP starts to redeem itself with the amazing third and fourth tracks, it’s over, and I’m left hanging, waiting for more. I feel that Jacob Hungsberg shows a ton of potential in this release (it’s obvious, especially in “Red Leaf” and the final track "Story of the Year") but he only has four songs to prove himself, two of which sound similar and one that his vocals unfortunately got lost in. Despite that, however, Trade Winds is definitely worth the listen - these four tracks are great for cool fall evenings or snowy winter days. The soft guitar combined with Hungsberg’s inviting vocals make for an EP that is sure to warm you up this winter.
Listen to "Red Leaf"